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How to easily calculate your 88 days regional work.

The government website does not make it easy to understand how to calculate your regional days.

So lets make it simple.

We know we need 88 days regional in our first year visa and 179 days regional in our second year to obtain our 3rd year visa but lets break down why this is and how to make sure were getting enough hours in. 

Where did they get the numbers 88 days and 179 days?

Your 88 days make up the total period of the 3 shortest months. (Not including a leap year.) This would be 2 months that have 30 days and February that has 28 days. Your 179 days are calculated by the 6 shortest months. Februarys 28. The 4 months with 30 days and a remaining month of 31 days.

Do I have to complete it all at once?

No. You can break up your days how you like. You just have to complete your days in the respective year. You can even work for multiple employers.

For example in my first year I did 21 days on a fruit farm in October and the remaining 67 days at a horse station over the months January, February and March.

I have done similar in my 2nd year during my 179 days and will be including 4 employers this time.

Can I work 2 jobs at the same time and get my days done quicker?

You can work two jobs but it states on the government website “You cannot complete the specified work requirement in a total period shorter than 3 or 6 calendar months.”

It also includes that working more hours on one day cannot be counted as 2 separate days.

However, it doesn’t state anywhere you can’t work 2 and use the hours from both jobs to get your 7 days

eg. if one job is giving 26 hours per week or they are inconsistant, maybe hours get cancelled due to weather meaning some weeks you meet the 30+ hours and others you are under. Theres no where saying you can’t use your second job to ‘top up’ the hours of your first to get your full 7 days ticked off. 

How do I count it?

 

It is definitely not clearly laid out as to how many hours make up a day or a full week and I think this is due to each industry being different. I would consider the normal full time week to be 38 hours however that doesn’t seem to be the case in many primary sector industries and some jobs in hospitality in regional areas. Most full time employees I’ve worked with, work a 6 hour day / 30 hour week. Therefore, this is then the industry standard. Once you are meeting the industry standard of full time hours you can count your rest days in too. Giving you 7 days rather than 5. The gov website states example below. 

This example indicates that if the industry standard for a full time employee here is 5 hours per day over a 5 day week than 25 hours should cover your days however, most other examples are based of a 6 hour working day which will bring you to 30 hours over a 5 day week. This is what I base my hours from. 

How do I know the industry standard?

Ask your employer or potential employer. What is the full time hours for this job? If its not as many as usual and you’re unsure then ask can that be outlined in your contract if it isn’t already.

 

What we have learnt here is there really is no simple answer of “you must work 30 hours per week”  and that each industry is different, so check with your employer if you will be giving the same hours as a full time employee would have if you don’t already know. It will vary from industry to industry so you might only get 28 hours and someone else in a different sector will have 38 but both will count towards your 7 days.

There are plenty of factors that might affect your days and although an employer might guarantee you the hours in the beginning I wouldn’t leave it to the end of your visa incase this changes for whatever reason. This is outlined on the government website “You should not leave it until the end of your stay to arrange your specified work, to allow for unforeseen circumstances which may prevent completion of the required period of specified work, such as bad weather, illness or not finding enough work.”

*all information is correct as of the day of publishing. Please visit the government website to see any changes. 

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